The new building of the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA), a private university with an international focus, is the result of major upgrading of the area in which it’s situated, as well as being a celebration of its first 10 years. Built on an abandoned plot in Adolphplatz in Hamburg and belonging to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, the new building is between the headquarters of a number of banking groups and opposite the old, late classical style stock exchange building. Against this backdrop of traditional architecture, the new campus strikes the eye with its modern volumes, which fit nicely, however, into the pattern of the surroundings, and with the high technology of its shell, whose construction design required considerable effort (being directly over an underground railway tunnel, there was also a problem of vibrations).

Architect Johann von Mansberg’s design achieves a fine reconciliation of the needs of style and technology: the modernism of an Art Déco façade and green-building solutions. The 6-floor building is encased with high-performance insulated glazing units framed by pillars covered by etched translucent glass and backlit with a LED system. This elegant combination is reflected in the discreet system used to anchor the glass panels to the shell of the building: pre-assembled in the factory and installed with great ease on site, the profiles are completely invisible, especially when the LED backlighting is on.

Madras® Silk etched translucent glass is the key element in the finishing of the pillars. Developed by Vitrealspecchi, a leading Italian producer of chemically etched flat glass, this material proved the best suited for covering the structures because of its special surface finish, which impedes vision whilst allowing light to pass. Its extremely low relief satinized texture is very pleasant to the touch and produces a creased fabric effect. The product’s transformation process guarantees high resistance to fingerprints and ease of maintenance. The Madras® Silk for the covering of the pillars of the Hamburg School of Business Administration was supplied on 15 mm extra-clear base float, tempered and painted in a warm tone of white that’s very pleasant, especially when the LED system is on.

Applicable not only to façades and external surfaces in general, such as balconies and shelters, Silk is also a splendid material for all interior design and furnishing projects, including doors, partition walls and showers, wardrobe doors, furnishing units, table tops and bathroom tops. Like the other models in the Madras® collections, Silk is available with various float glass bases and thicknesses and supports all the thermomechanical transformation processes used in the glass industry to obtain a safe product.

Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. Design competition organized by said Chamber and Hamburger Sparkasse Bank.

Construction design (architectural): Johann von Mansberg Architekten (GMP Architekten)

Works supervision: HT’ Hörter + Trautmann Architekten, Hamburg.
Façades: Heinrich Würfel Metallbau GmbH & Co Betriebs KG, Sontra.
Glass transformation: Flachglas Markenkreis.